Monday, October 19, 2015

Nonfiction Monday: Big Red Kangaroo by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Graham Byrne

This is one of a series of books about Australian wildlife that's recently been published in the US and I am thrilled to welcome them to our shores because they are truly gorgeous.

As evening falls, the kangaroos wake up. Big Red Kangaroo is the dominant male of his "mob" and he leads them out to graze in the cool night, escape a dust storm, and steer clear of dingos. He warns off other males and has a fight with one. Finally, the night is over and the kangaroos settle down for the day.

The charcoal and digital illustrations are breathtaking. Rich oranges, browns, and reds flow through the broad sketches. The kangaroos stand out from the landscape in shades of gray, brown and red, their bodies stretching and leaping across the pages.

There is a page of additional information about kangaroos at the back, an index, and a note reminding readers to check both the narrative text and the secondary informational text in italics. It's a format that works very well for different ages; you can read the basic text aloud to a younger group while older readers will appreciate the additional information fleshing out the story of the kangaroos night.

Verdict: Accessible text that will appeal to a variety of ages and gorgeous illustrations - what's not to love? Definitely add this and Saxby's other titles to fill out your animal sections. Highly recommended.

ISBN: 9780763670757; Published 2013; US edition published 2015 by Candlewick; Purchased for the library

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